Measurement equivalence of a safety climate scale across multiple trucking companies

Jin Lee, Yueng Hsiang Huang, Lauren A. Murphy, Michelle M. Robertson, Angela Garabet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


To promote and establish a safe environment in an organization, it is critical to get an accurate measurement and understanding of employees' safety climate perceptions. The goals of the current study were (1) to assess the measurement equivalence (ME) of the safety climate scale for mobile lone workers developed by Huang et al. (2013, Transp. Res. Part F Traffic Psychol. Behav., 17, 5) across different trucking companies with different managerial and safety practices and (2) to adopt confirmatory factor analysis (CFA)-based and item response theory (IRT)-based ME testing techniques that allow for more reliable measurement of important psychological safety constructs and accurate use of the measure. ME refers to the extent to which scales or items have the same measurement implications, such as factor structure of the scale, amount of explained variance with the scale constructs, and item functioning parameters from IRT framework, and are interchangeable across measurement situations. Based on the shared mental model theory, social learning theory, and social exchange theory, ME of safety climate was examined across the eight trucking companies recruited in the Huang et al.'s study. A CFA-based linear approach and an IRT-based nonlinear approach were used. Results supported that the safety climate scale items and measurement constructs have consistent meaning across different trucking companies, and the safety climate scores based on the scales can be used for the comparison of safety climate levels across multiple trucking companies as well as safety climate interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)352-376
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Confirmatory factor analysis
  • Differential item functioning
  • Item response theory
  • Measurement equivalence
  • Safety climate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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